Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction

Announcing new CEO Dr. Alexander Caudarella

Dear colleague,

As Chair of the Board of Directors for the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA), I am excited to announce that Dr. Alexander Caudarella has been appointed as our new CEO.

Alexander is a bilingual family physician specializing in substance use issues. He received his bachelor’s degree in health sciences from McMaster University in 2007 and his M.D.C.M. Doctor of Medicine and Master of Surgery from McGill University in 2012. His speciality training includes the Research in Addiction Medicine Scholar program and a clinical Fellowship in Addiction Medicine at the University of British Columbia. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Addiction Medicine.

Alexander served as the Substance Use Services Medical Director and Staff Addiction Physician with the Department of Mental Health and Addictions at St. Michael’s Hospital and with Inner City Health Associates, Mental Health and addictions consultant for the Government of Nunavut. He is also the Clinical Lead for the Centre on Drug Policy Evaluation at the University of Toronto.

His combination of experience as a clinician working with people who use drugs and as an innovator in the substance use field made him stand out as a candidate. He is focused on solutions and is certainly up to the significant challenges Canada is facing in the substance use field.

“We have a lot of work to do, especially given the double crises of the toxic drug supply and the pandemic,” he says. “CCSA is the only organization in Canada with a national mandate to focus on bringing Canadians together to tackle substance use issues. We’re in a moment of national need and CCSA will build upon the incredible work it has already done to improve the health of Canadians by working with everyone from scientists to policy makers, and especially those people who use drugs and their families.”

“But CCSA is in a great position to focus its evidence-based research and recommendations on substance use with all its connections, not just with mental health, but also physical and emergency medicine, the criminal justice system, social determinants of health, indigenous reconciliation and more.”

Alexander is also a consultant in concurrent disorders/substance use program development for the Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care, and casual staff at Casey House, a subacute facility for patients with HIV/AIDS.

He has served as a member and expert advisor for both the Ontario Health Mental Health and Addictions COVID-19 Recovery table and the Public Health Agency of Canada’s substance-related mortality technical group. Other experience includes being a member of Ontario’s Opioid Emergency Task Force, the COVID-19 Opioid Working Group and Joint Task Force on Substance Use.

Alexander will be officially joining CCSA in August, as our current CEO, Rita Notarandrea, departs for her well-deserved retirement after having graciously agreed to stay on until we found a suitable candidate. I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Rita for her invaluable contribution over many years of service. She is leaving CCSA in great shape to welcome Alexander on board.

Vaughan Dowie, Chair
Board of Directors, CCSA

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